This year, tourism to Canada hit a 14-year high, with international arrivals increasing by 16%. This renewed romance is due in part to the splendor of the 150th anniversary of Canada and its multitudinous celebrations, but also perhaps because our Northern neighbor demonstrates a commitment to openness, inclusion, diversity, and welcomes foreign nations in a way that seems sorely lacking in the U.S. these days. As the world’s second-largest country, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific and Arctic oceans, there is a lot to explore in Canada, and the best place to begin is in the nation’s capital of Ottawa, which is, of course, the home of LGBTQ ally, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
So where should you make your home base when visiting Ottawa? If you wish to stay somewhere that treats you like an official dignitary, choose Fairmont Château Laurier, a sprawling and splendid fairytale castle that embodies the history, tradition, and grandeur of this inspiring city. Over 100 years, this iconic hotel has hosted the international elite—including Princess Diana, Marlene Dietrich, and the Dalai Lama! It’s the best luxury 5-star hotel in Downtown Ottawa, and an elegant centerpiece of the city, prestigiously located between Parliament Hill, the picturesque Rideau Canal, the Congress Center and all the major arts and cultural attractions.
With 426 charming guest rooms decorated with old-world style, many with views of Parliament, it’s not hard to feel like a VIP, especially when sipping a cocktail on La Terrasse and watching the sunset over the canal. If you’re interested in walls that talk, take a narrated self-guided tour of the castle and discover its rich history. Just sign in for an iPad at the front desk.